I had a chance to see the movie Les Miserables over the holidays. It was a great stage play, and a good movie, but someone should have told Russell Crowe not to miss so many of his singing lessons.
Beyond that, and the fact that it’s the story of Frenchmen being played by Australians, singing with American accents – it reminded me of the story we all share.
A man is accused and condemned for a crime that isn’t really a crime. He’s eventually released but suppresses his identity to avoid further discrimination and abuse. (sound too familiar yet?) He lives his life with a false identity, but always haunted by the truth of who he is. And never gets married or dates any women, but does carry an attractive young man through a rather graphic sequence of long dark tunnels
In the end he comes to terms with who he truly is, proudly proclaims it, is loved and accepted by those around him, and then dies. All this while being serenaded by Anne Hathaway with a very bad haircut (which could possibly cause death in a number of people).
So the story is meant to be about revolution and oppression in 19th century France. But it doesn’t take much work to understand that we may all have things we deny or identities we suppress. Those that truly love us, will always love us. Those that don’t , well, do you really want to live your life trying to please their expectations when they don’t love you anyway?
The movie ends with the expected rousing chorus, but some words that are exceptionally relevant to us all.
Beyond the barricades is there a world you long to see?,
When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drum
There is a life about to start when Tomorrow Comes”
If there are barricades in your life, imagine going beyond them and how great it will be when Tomorrow Comes!